EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - With Michael Johnson battling a groin injury and fellow safety C.C. Brown struggling, the New York Giants' Aaron Ross could make his first start of the year against the Eagles.

There's a catch: Ross would have to play out of position, moving from cornerback to safety.

Ross, who missed the first nine games of the season with a torn left hamstring, has been working out at both positions in recent weeks, and the Giants' need this week is definitely at safety.

Ross had not played safety since his freshman year at Texas, and that didn't last long before he was moved back to cornerback.

Coming into the season, the Giants expected Ross to start for a third straight season at cornerback. But he injured his hamstring twice in training camp and only recently got back on the field.

Most times, a starter does not lose his job to an injury. Terrell Thomas played well replacing Ross, and coach Tom Coughlin decided not to make a change. The result has been that Ross has been getting more playing time at safety in nickel situations.

"I am getting there," Ross said. "I still have some things to learn. I know the defense, but I still have technical and just small things that safeties that have been playing the game know that I might not."

Ross made an outstanding play in the fourth quarter against Dallas, coming up quickly to tackle Marion Barber on a fourth-and-2 play that ended a Cowboys possession. Ross laughed about the play, noting that some felt he was not a good enough tackler to play safety.

"I am not scared to tackle at all," Ross said.